Obesity in kids – How to tackle the problem?
A healthy lifestyle begins at home. Parents should discourage their kids from snacking on unhealthy foods between meals or while watching TV, for instance. This kind of mindless eating is a major cause of childhood obesity. Buy fewer high-calorie, low nutrient foods like processed foods, breakfast cereals etc. Involve your children in planning, shopping and preparing meals so that they are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies. Encourage physical activity; ensure they spend 1-2 hours in some form of sport or outdoor activity daily. Restrict screen time and encourage them to sleep on time. Finally, be a good role model. As parents, you can expect your children to inculcate healthy habits if you showcase them yourselves. Overall, the most important strategies for preventing childhood obesity are healthy eating behaviours, regular physical activity, and reduced sedentary activity (such as watching television, surfing the net, videogames etc). These preventative strategies are part of a healthy lifestyle that should be developed during early childhood.
What can schools do to prevent this?
Schools have an opportunity to improve the health and tackle obesity in children at an ideal time, before problems set in. Nutrition and physical education can be woven into the curriculum to teach skills that help students choose and maintain healthy lifestyles. Physical education should focus on getting students engaged in high-quality and regular activity. Schools that have a cafeteria, should include healthier food options and eliminate marketing of unhealthy food.